How to Choose the Best Pharmacy Tech School Near Florence Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near FlorenceAL, you might be thinking about just how to select the right school to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical concerns when picking a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in studying at home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. Let's take a look at the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally two options to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted Florence AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications
Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools opt to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Florence AL pharmacies will only hire a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every two years by each program, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Online Programs
Before choosing a pharmacist tech online school, it's necessary to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in an area Florence pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to receive some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Florence AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online school you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online classes might be the ideal option for you.
Enroll in the Right Florence Pharmacy Technician Course
Finding the best pharmacy tech training is an important first step to beginning your career in a rewarding profession where assisting people with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech colleges incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have covered in this article, it's important to choose a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. With the appropriate education and dedication you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Florence Alabama.